Common names

Penknife tree, hip, dog lace, hedge-rose, dog-rose; its berry-like fruits are called rose-hips, lace etc.


It is a perennial shrub growing up to 2-3 m height. The arched branches are full of thorns. The leaves are composed of 5 small leaves. It has white or light red flowers. It has egg, pear or globe, eventually spindle formed, 1.5-3 cm long, fleshy fruits with little juice, which are at the beginning light red, becoming dark red when ripe, with sour but aromatic taste. Inside the fruit there are stingy and hairy seeds.


Dog-rose grows on scrublands, fringe of forest, along roads, but it also appears in karst forests and on karst scrublands, dry oak forests, abandoned vineyards and orchard, untidy fields. It usually likes warm, loose and sandy soil and prefers lime.

Gathering period

Rose hips can be collected from the end of August, when they start getting red. The fruits contain the most L-ascorbic acid when they are half-ripe, and they can be seeded easier. Later, when they are completely ripe, we cannot remove the seeds, but use the fruits only dry.

Active substances

Beside the L-ascorbic acid the fruits of dog roses contains lots of useful substances for our organism: pectins, flavonoids, sugars, malicand citric acid, tanin and vitamin A.


Due to its high L-ascorbic acid content it is widely used both in gastronomy and the traditional medicine for making tea, gem, syrup, soup, sauce, vinegar, liqueur, wine etc. It is important to remove the seeds and hair from the berries before using them; otherwise they might cause nasty itchiness. It is also used for itching powder. Be careful, wear rubber gloves while removing them.

Already the ancient nations have recognized the curative power of rose hips, first of all in case of tabescent diseases. The L-ascorbic acid enhances the resistance of our organism, the flavonoids have antiseptic and antibiotic effects on our immune system. The tea made of the fruits is very useful and must be consumed regularly in case of a flu or a cold. It is also good for kidney and bladder disorders, enteritis and bronchitis. It also improves digestion and is slightly diuretic. Rose hip can also be used for strengthening, refreshing and for enjoyment purposes. Thanks to its good taste it is also used in mixtures of medicinal plants and in fruit teas.